Automobile Central Enterprises, Inc., the official distributor of Volkswagen cars in the Philippines is finally celebrating the return of its most recognizable icon: The Beetle. No less than Fernando Zobel de Ayala and his brother Jaime Augusto Zobel de Ayala led the festivities at The Mind Museum at the Bonifacio Global City before the public unveil at the 2014 Manila International Auto Show.
“No other car evokes as much nostalgia, tradition, and heritage as the Beetle. As such, I am especially pleased and excited to launch a car as iconic and celebrated as one we have launched,” said Fernando Zobel de Ayala.
And who can debate that? The Beetle’s silhouette is as memorable and iconic as the Porsche 911, and ultimately, there’s no other car that’s been synonymously regarded as “The People’s Car”. Compared to the New Beetle which launched in 1998, the 21st Century Beetle—the official name of the 2014 Beetle, is substantially wider and lower. It breaks from the three “semi-circle” design with a roof profile that’s distinctively lower making the Beetle look bolder, more dynamic, and more masculine. The new car is 1,808-mm wide (+84-mm), 1,486-mm high (-12mm), and 4,278-mm longer (+152mm). The Beetle also remains the only Volkswagen to adopt round headlights.
Inside, the Beetle harks back at both its heritage while pushing for a high-tech cabin. The painted surfaces and the return of the lidded glove box is a nod to the classic Beetle while the seats have been designed for extreme comfort and easy ingress/egress to the back seats. The dashboard is laid out in an ergonomic manner for optimal operation. Thanks to the lengthened wheelbase, the Beetle offers spacious seating for four and luggage that swallows up to 905 liters with the rear seats folded (310 liters with the rear seats up).
Volkswagen Philippines is already taking reservations on the all-new Beetle with initial shipments expected to arrive in a month’s time.
The all-new Beetle is available in two variants both powered by Volkswagen’s TSI turbocharged gasoline engine. The 1.2 TSI Basic retails for P 1,590,000 while the 1.4 TSI Design goes for P 1,790,000. The 1.2 TSI is powered by a 105 horsepower, 175 Nm engine and is solely mated to a 5-speed manual. It rides on 16-inch alloy wheels with 215/60R16 tires. Meanwhile, the 1.4 TSI ups the figures to 160 horsepower and 240 Nm of torque and the engine is mated to a 7-speed dual-clutch automatic. The 1.4 TSI rides on 215/55R17 tires.
Both models are safety-minded with a full suite of airbags (6), anti-lock brakes with electronic brakeforce distribution and brake assist and Electronic Stability Program or ESP. Front and rear parking sensors are also standard. The 1.4 TSI Design is unique in having more luxury features such as HID headlights with LED daytime running lights, front fog lamps, chrome door moldings, rear spoiler with blacked out roof, cruise control, chrome trimming for the air conditioning, and illuminated vanity mirrors.